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Playing Politics

Listening to the "Playing Politics" podcast from the Star Tribune and WCCO Radio is like taking a seat at the Editorial Board table and hearing an informed and opinionated weekly discussion of all things political in Minnesota and the nation. "Playing Politics" features WCCO’s Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune’s John Rash in addition to editorial writer Patricia Lopez and columnists Lori Sturdevant and D.J. Tice – award-winning journalists who bring varied perspectives to the issues of the day.

EPISODE 151
July 10
Labor Secretary Alex Acosta speaks at the Department of Labor, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in Washington.

Listen: The politics of the Jeffrey Epstein case

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is under fire for his role in the financier's sex-crimes case. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 150
June 26
FILE - In this June 17, 2018, file photo, provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, people who have been taken into custody related to cases of

Listen: Border crisis resonates

The treatment of migrant detainees at the southern border – and a searing photograph of a father and daughter who didn't make it – has become a major political issue. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 149
June 19
President Trump was at center stage Tuesday night in Orlando, where he kicked off his 2020 reelection campaign at a rally.

Listen: Trump kicks off 2020 (or is it 2016?) campaign

The president reprised several themes – and targets – as he began his reelection push. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 148
June 12
Rep. Ilhan Omar spoke to attendees of an immigration round table discussion Tuesday in Minneapolis. ] Aaron Lavinsky ¥ aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com

Listen: Omar controversies continue

Scrutiny over U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar's tax filings place the Minnesota Democrat under ever-greater scrutiny. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 147
May 22
Governor Tim Walz, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and House Speaker Melissa Hortman held a press conference Sunday night to announce a budget agr

Listen: A not-so-special session

In what is becoming more common, legislators and the governor need extra time to finish their business. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 146
May 8
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz speaks with reporters at the State Capitol Monday during a break in talks with House Democratic and Senate Republican leaders

Listen: New governor, legislative leaders – same old gridlock

The 2019 session stalls on fiscal, philosophical issues. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 145
May 1
FILE -- Attorney General William Barr testifies before a subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee about the Justice Department's 2020 budge

Listen: Mueller memo at center of Barr hearings

The special counsel objected to the attorney general's initial description of the Mueller report. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 144
April 18
Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar speaks during a roundtable discussion on health care, Tuesday, April 16, 2019, in Miami. Klobuchar met

Listen: Can Klobuchar break through?

The Minnesota senator faces an increasingly crowded and competitive field of Democratic presidential candidates. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 143
April 10
President Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, before boarding Marine One helicopter, Wednesday, A

Listen: White House wrestles with border issue

President Donald Trump searches for solutions to the growing humanitarian challenge on the U.S.-Mexico border. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 142
March 20
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa), center, speaks to the press following the Budget and Economic Forecast with other members of the House

Listen: A slow-going legislative session

Minnesota's DFL governor and GOP-led Senate are once again sliding into stalemate. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 141
March 14
In this photo dated November 12, 2018, the actual Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 - Max 8 plane, that crashed Sunday March 10, 2019, shortly after take-

Listen: The politics of grounding planes

President Donald Trump announces an immediate grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 140
March 6
Rep. Ilhan Omar spoke to attendees of a Minneapolis immigration round table discussion in January.

Listen: Omar controversy continues

The Fifth District Democrat may be implicitly rebuked by her congressional colleagues. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 139
February 28
Michael Cohen, former attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, is sworn in before testifying before the House Oversight and Reform Committee in the R

Listen: Cohen questioning reflects nation's partisan split

The president's former lawyer's testimony rivets the nation. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Jason DeRusha and the Star Tribune's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 138
February 20
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz proposed a state budget that would raise gas and vehicle taxes and spend more money on priorities he touted as a candidate.

Listen: Walz budget, Mueller investigation

The Minnesota governor's call for a gas tax to fund roads and bridges might mean legislative gridlock. Plus, news from Washington. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 137
February 13
Omar: “We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identi

Listen: National spotlight on Omar, Klobuchar

Minnesota representative's tweets and senior senator's presidential bid reverberate. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 136
February 6
President Donald Trump gives his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 at the Capitol in Washington, as Vic

Listen: Elusive unity

Congress, president still seem at odds after the State of the Union address. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 135
January 30
From left: FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel and National Intelligence Director Dan Coats testify at a hearing with the Senate I

Listen: Trump takes on intelligence officials

The president's worldview diverges sharply with the annual threat assessment. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 134
January 23
The dome of the U.S. Capitol at sunset in Washington, Jan. 22, 2019. Senate Republicans and Democrats on Tuesday offered the first glimmers of a poten

Listen: Shutdown impact intensifies

Washington's ongoing gridlock is having widespread political and governance ramifications. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 133
January 15
FILE - In this July 7, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Hamburg. Putin is more

Listen: Russia intrigue intensifies

Back-to-back stories from the New York Times and Washington Post bring more scrutiny to President Donald Trump. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 132
January 10
President Donald Trump spoke Tuesday night from the Oval Office about border security.

Listen: Washington stalemate

Primetime addresses by President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders fail to end the partial shutdown of the federal government. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 131
January 2
President Donald Trump listens during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in Washington.

Listen: Shutdown showdown

The standoff between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats reflects a changing political dynamic in Washington. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 130
December 19, 2018
In this photo taken Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, Turkish and U.S. troops conduct joint patrols around the Syrian town of Manbij, as part of an agreement th

Listen: Trump's withdrawal from Syria

Allied, congressional concern is voiced over the implications of the president's plan. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 129
December 13, 2018
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Listen: Oval Office spat suggests tough governing times ahead

A televised dispute between President Donald Trump and Democratic congressional leaders shows how political dynamics are shifting in Washington. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 128
December 5, 2018
In an undated photo from his presidential library, President George H.W. Bush. Bush, the 41st president of the United States and the father of the 43r

Listen: Mourning a man, and an era

Former President George H. W. Bush's passing evokes calls to improve the political environment. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 127
November 29, 2018
FILE - In this May 23, 2018, file photo, Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, leaves the Federal District Court after a h

Listen: Mueller investigation targets Manafort

The ongoing probe of the 2016 campaign comes back into focus. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.